After a first episode that disappointed me, Natsu no Arashi managed to turn around my scepticism towards the series in episode two, and thankfully this third instalment puts my doubts to bed almost entirely by serving up another genuinely likeable slice of anime.
Much of this episode focuses on the growing friendship between Arashi and Hajime, as they seem to become more comfortable in one another's prescence, despite a warning from Jun that women aren't always what they may seem on the surface (an ironic statement coming from this particular character, as you may have already begun to fathom). Still, Jun's words do nothing to stop the pair thoroughly enjoying themselves at a nearby arcade (via a rather humorous skit about the deadly crane game to be found there) and thus cementing their bonds further.
True to form, it's at this moment that Arashi asks a favour of Hajime - She needs to travel through time to do something, and she can only do it with his help. So, off the pair are whisked to World War II Japan, with Arashi desperate to prevent a man and his child from their deadly fate - Who these people are and why Arashi is so centred upon stopping them we have no idea, but needless to say the entire endeavour puts both herself and Hajime in danger - Can their friendship last against a backdrop of asking such a huge favour?
As I've already mentioned, episode two of this series allowed the potential of Natsu no Arashi to begin to shine through, and following on from that episode three really seems to have nailed it down pretty nicely. In a way it's a bit of an odd episode in that nothing much particularly happens (and even Arashi's jump back in time feels almost like a brief, albeit important, aside), yet despite that it's enjoyable and entertaining from beginning to end - The animation is starting to make great use of those quirky little Shaft touches which always makes their output worthy of consideration, and the Arashi/Hajime dynamic is an oddly touching and gentle one which is growing in stature by the episode. There still appears to be a lot of room for growth in this show, and doubtless the bigger picture is still largely obscured at this exact moment in time, but to be honest Natsu no Arashi is proving to be perfectly watchable as it is judging by this instalment.